There has not been a back-to-back winner of the Bojangles’ Southern 500 since Greg Biffle claimed consecutive titles in 2005 and 2006.
But Brad Keselowski could be in a strong position to do just that. After winning the 2018 race, Keselowski will be in the second position on Sunday, behind William Byron who had the best time by .066 seconds. Byron won the pole position Saturday at Darlington with a time of 28.510 seconds across the 1.366 mile track, compared to 28.576 by Keselowski.
But Keselowski will be facing off against a group that features two veterans with history at this track.
Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson will also be competing on Sunday. Hamlin won the pole position in 2018, and is looking for his third win at the track. He last won in 2017, seven years after his first win in 2010. Johnson is also a two-time winner, having claimed titles in 2004 and 2012. With a win, Hamlin or Johnson would move into a six-way tie for fourth-most wins at the track. Jeff Gordon’s six remains the most among any drivers. Johnson is at the No. 6 position and Hamlin is at No. 9.
The FanDuel sports book has Kyle Busch listed as the current odds-on favorite to win at +375. Keselowski is at third at +580 and Hamlin sits at +800.
Sporting News is tracking live race updates and highlights from the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Follow along below.
The race is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. ET. Live updates will begin at that time.
Caution flags: 6
Lead changes: 6
Lap leaders: Kyle Busch (103), Kurt Busch (92), Kyle Larson (39), Brad Keselowski (19), Chase Elliott (9)
12:52 a.m.: Several of the leading racers make pit stops, including Kyle Busch, but even the stop can’t keep the race’s leader from regaining his lead
12:45 a.m.: Kyle Busch officially has been in first place for more laps than any other racer. He passes his brother with his 93rd lap in P1.
12:45 a.m.: Brad Keselowski makes a pit road stop after missing it the first time.
12:34 a.m.: Alex Bowman just passed Jimmie Johnson for P5
12:23 a.m.: Kyle Busch gets off to a hot start on the restart on Lap 207 to stay in first place.
12:18 a.m.: Kyle Busch clings to his lead out of pit road with Erik Jones and Kyle Larson falling in behind him at P2 and P3, respectively.
12:10 a.m.: The caution flag is being waved at 198 after BJ McLeod hit a wall. The Busch brothers still out at first and second. Denny Hamlin is now at third place.
12:06 a.m.: Kurt Busch passes Clint Bowyer for second place on Lap 91. Trails only Kyle Busch with nine laps left in Stage 2.
11:59 p.m.: Joey Logano hit with a flat tire on his right, rear tire and has to come in for a pit stop.
11:52 p.m.: Green flag is back out for Lap 163. Clint Bowyer now trails Kyle Busch with Kurt in third and Johnson in fourth.
11:49 p.m.: Kyle Busch has slowly but surely been making progress the whole race. Now he takes the lead off pit road.
11:46 p.m.: Corey LaJoie has a flat titre on Lap 158 and the caution flag is out.
11:37 p.m.: Kurt Busch retakes the lead out of the pit stop with Kyle right behind him. Truex is now in third.
11:33 p.m.: Ryan Newman spins and there will be a fourth caution flag being waved on lap 140.
11:29 p.m.: Martin Truex Jr. makes his move again to pass Erik Jones and Joey Logano to take P7.
11:24 p.m.: After several pass attempts, Joey Logano finally makes his move past Chase Elliott for seventh place.
11:15 p.m.: Larson is holding the lead after the green flag on lap 107.
11:14 p.m.: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was issued a safety violation on pit road.
11:12 p.m.: Kyle Larson takes the lead off the pit stop for the fourth lead change of the race. Kurt Busch remains in second and Kyle Busch is now in third.
11:08 p.m.: Denny Hamlin passes Brad Keselowski and is now in fifth place. Order after the first lap of Stage 2 is Kurt Busch, Johnson, Larson, Kyle Busch, Hamlin, Elliott, Keselowski.
11:03 p.m.: Kyle Busch is now in fourth place in the race after passing Elliott. He now trails just Kurt, Johnson and Kyle Larson.
10:56 p.m.: Kurt Busch retakes the lead and Jimmie Johnson passes Elliott for second.
10:53 p.m.: The Busch brothers are now within four spots of one another as on lap 73, the race goes back to green.
10:49 p.m.: Chase Elliott, who had been in P17, wins the race off pit road,
10:47 p.m.: Caution flag goes up on lap 67 as Garrett Smithley started spinning, but he righted his car
10:45 p.m.: Jimmie Johnson, who has won this race twice, passed Keselowski for fifth place
10:39 p.m.: Martin Truex Jr. had been as low as 22nd in this race. Now? All the way up to seventh on lap 54.
10:34 p.m.: Jumping out of the competition caution, the race is back to green and there’s been some shifting behind Busch. William Byron is now in second with Kyle Larson in third, Chase Elliott in fourth and Keselowski in fifth.
10:26 p.m.: Drivers have hit the first competition caution flag on lap 36. The cars are all hitting pit road.
10:22 p.m.: Kurt’s younger brother, Kyle, is making some moves early. He has already moved up to P15.
10:17 p.m.: Busch is the first car to pass Keselowski tonight.
10:14 p.m.: With Keselowski out to an early lead through the first 12 laps, the closest battle remains for second place with Kurt Busch and William Byron neck and neck.
10:09 p.m.: Brad Keselowski jumps out to the lap 1 lead.
10:07 p.m.: The green flag has been waved and this race is underway!
9:44 p.m.: It is time for the National Anthem and Invocation.
9:40 p.m.: NASCAR is warning that there is a competition caution on Lap 35 of the race.
9:20 p.m.: Car covers are coming off! This race is getting ready to get started!
9:10 p.m.: The National Anthem and Invocation is expected to take place at 9:30 p.m.
8:40 p.m.: NASCAR officials are estimating the track will be ready by 10 p.m.
#NASCAR estimates on its radio channel 90 minutes to dry the track at this point
– Dustin Long (@dustinlong) September 2, 2019
8:22 p.m.: Dale Earnhardt Jr. said race officials expect the race to take place tonight
Rain has stopped. Drying here shouldn’t take very long. Nascar officials have made repeated visits to the broadcast booth with confidence we will get the race in tonight.
– Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) September 2, 2019
7:43 p.m.: The track has begun to be dried by the crew.
7:20 p.m.: The race is still in a rain delay, but that isn’t stopping Clint Bowyer from having some fun on the NBC broadcast.
6:05 p.m.: The start of the race has been delayed due to rain. No time given yet on when it will begin.
5:50 p.m.: Alex Bowman is getting himself ready for the cameras.